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Oct
25

Renewable energy – wind power How much does wind power cost?

Question by K-bo: Renewable energy – wind power How much does wind power cost?
I really have no idea how much windmills cost. I was just curious if there is a site somewhere that has costs to be windmills that are maybe like 500kW, 750kW or 1 megawatt producers of electricity? Does anyone know an approximate price or website with pricing for these?

Best answer:

Answer by GABY
I was working in west Texas last year for several months in the middle of thousands of them. I am an engineer so discussed this a lot with engineers building them.

Seems the average cost was about 2 million for 2 megawatts (Very high compared to conventional / nuclear)just for initial capital cost. They work great. Only take 6-8 MPH wind for them to start generating. The power from them is much higher cost primarily due to the high initial cost and the fact that the wind just doesn’t blow all the time so your investment may sit a lot of the time generating nothing. They also require enormous surface area and a large electrical grid compared to conventional.

I like wind power and Solar power, and think we should build more in deserted areas because even though the power is more expensive, it reduces emissions and reduces our dependence on foreign oil. It cannot provide the huge amount of cheap reliable 24/7 alternative energy we need (Only Nuclear can do that), but it will help.

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5 comments

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  1. LMurray says:

    The new producer of the better ones is GE. But you have to remember that most of these machines now have 30′ wing spans. They produce electricity at a higher initial price but as time goes by the become very price effective. Maintenance is about the same price, but wind is free-so far.

  2. Morey000 says:

    It all depends on where the turbines are located, but those, lets say in the Banning pass east of Los Angeles or in Mojave- regularly windy areas are producing energy (after amortized costs) at about 8 or 9 cents per KWh. that’s just a penny more than it costs to produce energy via the burning of fossil fuels.

    The important point here is, that if oil just gets a bit more expensive, then alternative energy sources become more and more viable and cost effective.

  3. campbelp2002 says:

    The source has a 10kw unit for $ 27,900. I shudder to think what a 500kw unit would cost.

  4. Oldwhiteguy2earth says:

    There is a company that sells them – Northern equipment or Northern Supplies or something like that. If you are rural, I think small windmills could be cost effective. Big commercial windmills are absurdly expensive, since the government is involved.

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